Introduction Rates of STIs are increasing in the UK among young people: here is little data on the quality, coverage and outcome of sex education in schools.
Methods A Self-completed service-evaluation survey of patient experiences of sex education and subsequent sexual health was offered to all patients aged under 25 attending our GP level 2 sexual health service in November 2016.
Results 110 completed surveys were returned; Median age was 20. 64% F, 35% M, 1% Trans*. 23% identified as LGBT. 27/110(24.5%) reported previous diagnosis with an STI. 92/110(83%) were educated in the UK; 10/110(9%) reported no sex education at all. 55% of respondents felt that the majority of their sex education came via school. The most covered topics in school sex education were: Puberty (81%), Contraception (80%) and STI’s (80%). LGBT relationships (8%) and Anal sex (9%) were rarely included. Safe internet use was discussed with 18% of respondents, and consent with 39%. 63% felt they had enough information to protect themselves. 38% Females and 33% MSM reported having sex without consent, conversely only 8% Heterosexual men reported non-consensual sex. 51% respondents would use a sexual health clinic to gain more information about sex, 55% would use a website for information.
Discussion Sexual health services may be ideally placed to work alongside schools in providing sex education. It must not be assumed when seeing patients that they are fully aware of how to protect themselves from sexual harm, and steps must be taken to address any gaps in knowledge attendees may have.
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